Much loved Knightsbridge bistro, The Brompton Bar & Grill, has recently launched London’s first absinthe establishment. Referred to as the ‘green fairy,’ absinthe was the drink du jour for 19th century geniuses like Oscar Wilde, Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemmingway to name but a few, but was banned in much of Europe for causing madness and mayhem (ironically the very reasons, it is now enjoying a revival)!
At the new Brompton Road bar, with its eye catching emerald walls and luxurious leather seats, the infamous pale green spirit can be mixed into an array of heady contemporary cocktails (the Absinthe Caipirinha anyone)? However it’s arguably best enjoyed in its traditional form with a slotted silver spoon, sugar cube and steady stream of ice-cold water from your own iced water fountain.
The Brompton Bar & Grill isn’t the only London venue getting in on the absinthe act. The Rebel Dining Society, an underground collective of London foodies, recently served the anise-flavoured spirit in an absinthe-themed menu that encompassed cocktails created by mixologists from Islington’s 69 Colebrook Row and an absinthe chocolate truffle dessert. Elsewhere Alicja Bachleda and John Hurt will be lighting up the silver screen next year in The Absinthe Drinkers, a tale of a gifted female painter dragged into debauchery.
Clearly absinthe is having a moment once more but, before raising your glass and getting carried away, you’d do well to remember the words of one Oscar Wilde: “After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world.”
To make a booking at the Brompton Bar & Grill’s absinthe bar, please call 020 7589 8005. For more information, visit www.bromptonbarandgrill.com